HSE hospitals are bringing in debt collectors after patients owed £40million last year
That HSE More than €40 million was owed last year by patients who failed to pay their bills after being discharged from hospital, new figures show.
Just over half of the total – €20.5 million – related to unpaid expenses related to road traffic accidents, while patients who did not pay the €100 emergency department (ED) fee accounted for almost €8.3 million.
Nearly €11.3 million of the unpaid charges related to inpatient hospital stays, for which public patients pay €80 per night up to a maximum of €800 over a 12-month period.
A total of €138.7 million was also owed to HSE hospitals by private health insurers early last year, according to records released under the Freedom of Information Act.
Figures relate only to hospitals owned and operated by the HSE and exclude voluntary hospitals such as Beaumont, St James’s and Children’s Health Ireland.
About a fifth of the total amount owed by patients to HSE went to University Hospital Galway (UHG), where €4.9m in road accident charges, €1.3m in ED charges and €2.4m in € in deposits outstanding. patient fees.
Patients at Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise had nearly €1.2million in ED fees unpaid early last year, while Sligo General Hospital was second-highest in the category at €558,405.
Waterford University Hospital was owed €2.5 million in road accident charges.
Cork University Hospital (CUH) followed, with just over €1.9m outstanding in the same category.
UHG and University Hospital Kerry were the only two entities to owe more than €1m on inpatient stays early last year.
Next up was Naas Hospital, which was owed €780,950.
Figures also show that HSE hospitals paid €362,964 to collection agencies in the first nine months of last year to recoup some of unpaid patient fees.
Amounts spent by each hospital on collections ranged from €86,194 paid by CUH to just €55 paid to agencies by Letterkenny University Hospital, which received a total of €2 million from patients early last year was owed.
“The HSE has a legal obligation to collect and collect these fees, and hospitals are free to implement payment plans where appropriate,” said Sarah Anderson, general manager of corporate finance for the HSE.
“Hospitals are needed [under national financial regulations] to forward unpaid debts to a debt collection agency after a certain period of time.
“If a patient is struggling to pay a hospital bill, the regulations allow the hospital and patient to agree on an installment plan.
“The HSE seeks to maximize income recovery in a socially responsible, ethical, efficient and cost-effective manner.”
A fee of €335 is charged for patients who have been involved in a traffic accident, plus other costs for examinations and procedures.
Patients suffering from Covid-19 are exempt from statutory duties.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/hse-hospitals-call-in-debt-collectors-after-40m-owed-by-patients-last-year-41575927.html HSE hospitals are bringing in debt collectors after patients owed £40million last year